Keeping it Real: Elmo Fiesta & Pinterest Reality Check

Today is a special day, our little Charles is three! Boy, that went by fast. It seems just like yesterday that I was planning his Elmo Fiesta for his second birthday. And now here we are, post third birthday party craziness. So while you wait for all the lovely details to be revealed for the latest party, I thought I would throw it back to last years fiesta.
In this post you’ll find some great party planning tips on how to through the hottest Fiesta, a few Pinterest successes, and of course some Pinterest fails. Party planning a styled birthday party can quickly become overwhelming after you have spent a few late nights pinning beautiful inspirations to your Pinterest boards. In hopes of encouraging you on your next party planning endeavor, I’ll also be discussing the Pinterest Reality Check– how Pinterest translates into the home.


As previously stated, we threw a Elmo Fiesta for Charles’s second birthday. At the time, he was super into the character, and to make it fit with todays times and party styles I threw in some flavors of Mexico. Because who doesn’t love tacos and all things Fiesta related! YUM! We had paper picado, tissue paper flowers, diy cactus balloons (that didn’t turn out that well!), catered mexican, and of course some sombreros.
It turned out to be a colorful and playful theme that was highly received among family and friends.

Pinterest Reality Check

elmo fiesta styled birthday partySo, while I’ll be sharing all the party details so you can achieve a party worthy of a post siesta, there’s something else I’d like to address first. And thats the “movie magic”, rather, photo shoot magic of Pinterest and more recently Instagram.In

Now, before I go deeper, let me say that these party images on Pinterest are great and have a purpose. They offer lots of inspiration and encourage creativity. But with that, also comes the expectation. The expectation that your party should look as crisp and perfect as the white washed clean photos you come across your media platforms.
But this isn’t reality. Many of us don’t have those crisp white walls with amazing lighting in our homes. And if you do, I’m totally jealous! My point is, it’s easy to get hung up on all those pretty images- meaning we need a bit of a Pinterest Reality Check.
 Looking for some budget friendly party tips? you might like: My Sweet Valentine Social

Elmo Fiesta: Be Your Own Creative Genius

elmo fiesta party theme pinterest reality check
Instead of focusing on all the little details of the pretty picture, pick up on all the unique ideas that the image is offering. Then, take those ideas and put your own spin on them. In the end you will more than likely be prouder of the version you created because it was a reflection of your creativity rather than someone else’s.
you might also like this kid’s party: Everything is Awesome: Lego City
Your child isn’t going to care if their styled birthday party isn’t perfectly staged, or even looking like the example image. What they are going to love and cherish is the effort you put into their event.  So throw those party planning expectations out the window and have fun! It’s ok if it’s not Pinterest worthy. Sometimes the stories that come along with the Pinterest fails are way more interesting.

Bringing Pinterest into the Home

This party was thrown in our home, which has TERRIBLE lighting. Which means it also doesn’t cater to clean photos to show off a styled birthday party. But, this is what suited our family… and the fact that I didn’t know about Highstreet’s community room yet. (I don’t know if I can ever go back to throwing a party at our home again, the clean up is just way to easy there!).
Being a perfectionist that I am, it was hard to get over the fact that this styled birthday party didn’t look like the crisp photos of Pinterest, or the ones taking over social media. What I didn’t want was our home life taking away the esthetic of the party. And now all I can think about is how crazy that was! Why wouldn’t our friends and family enjoy making these precious memories with us in our home?! Of course they would, thats why they are there- with or without the crazy party planning.  In that moment I seriously needed a Pinterest Reality Check.
Celebrations in life are meant to be intimate and meaningful between the guest of honor and their family and friends. Remember that having pretty decor and yummy treats should just be the frosting on your party planning cake.
want more party planning ideas? check out Love You to the Moon and Back

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 Elmo Fiesta: Styled Birthday Party

elmo fiesta styled birthday party

elmo fiesta styled birthday party

Elmo Fiesta Inspired Desserts

  • Key lime bars
  • Cactus and Elmo cupcakes
  • Fiesta Cake
  • Brownies
All of these fiesta inspired treats were so delicious! Except maybe the brownies… (let me just hid my face in shame lol). These brownies ended up being the first of a few Pinterest fails. Originally meant to be chocolate tacos, the lack of party planning to buy a waffle cone maker led trying the recipe with a griddle instead. It did NOT work! lol
(To try and salvage my mistake I converted them to brownies. Not the best brownies, but not the worst either. Win some you loose some.)
  Another Pinterest fail- we caught the cake on fire! I highly recommend taking off any flammable material on your cake before you light the candles. Opps!

Elmo Fiesta Decor Ideas


elmo fiesta party theme pinterest reality check


 Paper Picado from Meri Meri Party Supplies was strung from the ceiling, and large tissue paper flowers adorned the archway. This was probably my favorite detail of the event, it made a large impact for our guests with lots of color and texture.

elmo fiesta party theme pinterest reality check

The Mexican textiles, sombreros and maracas where purchased on a recent trip to Mexico. The succulents featured on the table were potted in recycled bean cans.

elmo fiesta styled birthday party

elmo fiesta styled birthday party tips

DIY Party Planning Fails and Successes

elmo fiesta party theme pinterest reality check

This is what I would describe as a Pinterest fail! The DIY cactus balloon, in my opinion, looked nothing like a cactus! Not only did it look weird, but the structure didn’t manage to stay afloat for long because of the weight of the tissue paper. Skip this fiesta craft all together, and purchase the amazing cactus balloon listed at the end!



Top: Guests enjoyed potting their own succulents and decorating their pots. It was a unique and special fiesta inspired party favor!

Right: An easy backdrop made from brown package paper, paint and tissue paper. Simply cut the bottom of the tissue paper to achieve the fringe look. Nothing screams Fiesta more than a taco bar!

Want more party DIYs? Check out Lego Twister: Party Game DIY


elmo fiesta styled birthday party


Well, there you have it. A styled birthday party that any Elmo loving, taco eating guest will love! And now that you have some Pinterest Reality Check tools under your belt, my hope is that the next time your party planning it will be effortless and stress free!

For more stress free tips visit: My Sweet Valentine Social: Part II or You’re Invited with Basic Invite

Check out some inspirations I drew from to make this Elmo Fiesta a success below, as well as a few new items I have come across since throwing this styled birthday party. Lastly, I could never pull off any of these parties without the help of my sisters and mom! Thanks for the help ladies!

Elmo Fiesta Details

Picado style paper ware: Meri Meri
Elmo napkins: EZ party supply
Paper Picado Banner: Meri Meri
Tissue Paper Archway: The Dollar Store
Table Cloth, Poncho & Sombreros: Cancun, Mexico
Guitar & Elmo Piñata: EZ Party

Fiesta Styled Birthday Party Trends

elmo fiesta party theme pinterest reality check

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Balloons & Paperware: Heather & Gem ( Abbotsford) or Joonie & Joe (Kelowna)
Cactus Gummies: Joonie & Joe
Taco Bout a Party Balloon Banner: Heather and Gem
Patio Party sprinkle mix: Dainty Sprinkle Co.
Cactus Cupcake Toppers: Paper and Parties
Food: Lolas Churro Bar; Jessica’s Alfajores

Try pining these Elmo Fiesta party planning ideas!

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